I recently authored a book entitled Dark Passages of the Bible: Engaging Scripture with Benedict XVI and Thomas Aquinas. In that book one of the three main themes I treat is the problem of evil in the Old Testament. I encourage you to read my post at Benedictine College’s Gregorian Institute on what Pope Benedict has to say about the existence of the devil. Do the Scriptures really affirm the existence of the devil, or is he a superstition from a bygone age which enlightened people today need to move beyond?
The existence of the devil is not very compatible with modern thinking. Such is the view confronted by Benedict XVI in a response he once wrote to a book called Farewell to the Devil. Its author, an Old Testament scholar, expressed the view of many a modern man in claiming, “By now we have understood that the term ‘devil’ in the New Testament simply stands for the term ‘sin.’” The devil is just an image for sin, just something Jesus talks about to keep a little holy fear in us—but not someone we really have to fear, someone whose existence we can prove and wiles we can’t explain otherwise through modern psychology.